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Tips For Running For Local Office

Sep 1, 2008
What do you need to win a race for a local office? Yes there are photo sessions, lots of handshakes, victory speeches, and hype. Yet what makes running for political office a success are not only those. There is a lot of behind the scenes work that shows off in front of the voters giving you their trust, and eventually, their vote. Let's look at a few things you can do to improve your chances and make it a worthwhile effort to run for your local political office.

Find out the Requirements

There is more to politics than what meets the eye; start with doing your homework properly, check the requirements of the position you want to run for and see if you are eligible.

Build Votes on Your Actions

There can be times when people just get off their daily lives and run for a local election and win easy, those are instances that are too rare to invest in. If you intend to ever have a political ounce in your body, be sure to build your image beforehand. Get involved with organizations, education programs, and local societies. See what people are interested in and get down to the issues.

Career Decisions

Before you jump into the political life, be sure it is what you want. Will you withstand the pressure that ensues or do you mind people talking about your personal life like their breakfast cereal? If you do, think again, you will end up wanting them to talk of you, but just the good stuff.

Personal grooming

Looks don't count when we talk about knowledge and the ability to solve the people's problems but anyone with political know-how will tell you that good looks, a beautiful wife and cute kids do matter. Your family is the projection of your 'human' side, use it well and make the people associate it with you.

Learn to Smile

Sure it could be covered under the grooming section but it is too important to have a good smile, and a ready wit to bundle it with other things. People want to see an assured leader but they also want someone who has a sense of humor. People want someone who talks of serious things with a demeanor of a problem solver yet is still one who can still smile and laugh.

Know your Opponent

'Know Thyself' is the popular phrase, but in politics it is just as important to know your opponent. Homework comes in again; keep a track of your opponent's weaknesses and find out if there is something your opponent wants to keep hidden, it is virtually 99% of the time something that would throw his voters off and you have everything to gain.

Bury your Weaknesses Deep

It is a two way game though; you have to know when to shut up too. Surely there are going to be times when your have the dirt on your opponent but never get close to what your opponent might get on you. If you have something to hide, you should play the elections clean and to your strengths instead of your opponent's weaknesses.

The Media

Newspaper media, radio and television are all your friends. If they are not, make them so. You can not visit every home personally for them to meet you; chances are though that newspapers, radio or television transmissions are watched in every home in your jurisdiction. Be at your very best when the camera points to you. Make sure to know the right answers, stammering in the face of questions is quite the campaign killer.

Catchphrases and gestures that win people over and even quotes from the greats are wonderful public campaigning material, and as such, things you should practice before you speak. It is also a great asset for any politician to be quotable. Use short and pithy sentences, give them meaning and yet do not overburden them so the meaning is not lost,. After all, people do want to understand you.

Campaign Organizers and Advisers

It is always helpful to have people who know how to run a campaign around you. Surely your friends and family can help you at the local level but just be sure to think things through while you are planning; that can be the difference between a haphazard campaign and a meticulous one.

Elections at any level require funds; work out your fund raising techniques. What slogans can you work with? Make friends with your catchphrases; work on local issues with local communities that would be happy to lend you a hand if you are able to project their cause well enough.

Plus, campaign posters and signs are an important part of your drive as well, make sure you get enough exposure before the voting commences that you are a household name people recognize...and finally, did we say use family, friends and their friends too? Do that!
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